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Designer Insights: Designing a Collection

I’m sure every indie knitting designer goes about designing their collections differently, but here’s what I do.

  1. Decide upon a theme.  This is the driving force behind the collection.  It guides pattern choices, color palette, yarn choices, and more.
  2. Decide on the palette.  I like to have a palette from which I work; to me it makes the collection feel more cohesive.
  3. Have a broad idea of what types of patterns I want to do.
  4. Start working on specific inspiration idea, colors, and yarns for each pattern. Often I will get yarn in an appropriate colorway, then decide on the pattern specifics later. This usually happens in person at TNNA or other yarn-related events.  Otherwise I’ll come up with a pattern idea and then find specific yarn for it.
  5. Develop the patterns. Write rough drafts of the patterns, including charts, grading, schematics, etc.
  6. Knit the object from the rough pattern, adjusting as needed.
  7. Send the pattern to the tech editor.
  8. Lay out the pattern in accordance with my style sheet.
  9. Get the pattern test knit. (This in itself has a slew of steps!)
  10. Photography.
  11. Write any additional supporting material.
  12. Locate any other supporting material such as supplemental photographs, etc.
  13. Hyperlink to appropriate websites.
  14. Double check all formatting.
  15. Ensure patterns are consistent (same text for same type of actions, same formatting, etc).
  16. Ensure all the charts and keys are consistent (font, layout, background color, index line width and color, etc).
  17. Ensure the masthead information is correct and has hyperlinks as appropriate.
  18. Ensure all the abbreviations are listed.
  19. Update the table of contents.
  20. Ensure I have all the info from the yarn companies re: contact info, blurb, etc.
  21. Get blurbs/comments for the back cover.
  22. Send to copy editor.  Possible second pass by tech editor.
  23. Review.
  24. Print working copy.
  25. Review again.
  26. At some point (usually any time after #7) upload draft patterns to Ravelry.
  27. Send out review copies.
  28. Final export to PDF.
  29. Publish to Ravelry (and then other sites).
  30. Post to blog, Rav group, other groups as appropriate.
  31. Send to Knit Picks.
  32. Get PDF to distributor (or break into individual patterns, which requires, of course, more formatting, checking, etc!).

I’m sure I’m leaving stuff off, and obviously, a lot of those steps have sub-steps.  Right now, with TEXTURED and LACE 2, I’m anywhere between #7 (my tech editor has the last 3 shawl patterns to edit) and #22 (TEXTURED is with the copy editor).

work desk with a cup of coffee computer laptop, notebook, pen

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